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Alleged driver in 7-year-old's killing to be held without bail

The suspected driver in the shooting death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes will be held without bail, a Texas j...

Posted: Jan 7, 2019 6:18 PM
Updated: Jan 7, 2019 6:18 PM

The suspected driver in the shooting death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes will be held without bail, a Texas judge ruled Monday.

Eric Black Jr., 20, did not speak during the five-minute probable cause hearing in Harris County court. Wearing a yellow jail jumpsuit, his hands and feet shackled, he sat in the jurors' box during the proceeding with at least a half-dozen deputies in tactical vests standing before him.

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The Harris County Sheriff's Office said Saturday it filed capital murder charges against the 20-year-old, but it was not clear if he has been formally charged by the court. Black was not required to enter a plea Monday.

His attorney, Alvin Nunnery, entered a motion saying Black invoked his Fifth Amendment rights and should no longer be interviewed by investigators. The motion was granted.

Prosecutors said Black has confessed to driving the car from which Jazmine was shot December 30 in Houston, and a gun found at his home was consistent with eight shell casings found at the scene. Black and the suspected shooter mistook the car carrying Jazmine for a car belonging to someone with whom the pair had had an earlier altercation at a club, prosecutors said.

Black's mother wept and clutched a family member's hand during the hearing. Black mouthed "I love you" to family members as he left the courtroom.

Police: Traffic stop led to confession

Black was pulled over for failing to use a turn signal Saturday night and was arrested for marijuana possession, Texas authorities said.

Thanks to an earlier anonymous tip, police learned Black might have been involved in the drive-by shooting of Jazmine, who was shot in the head while riding in a car with her three sisters and their mother.

The shooting, moment by moment

The anonymous tipster said Black and another person, identified as "L.W.," shot at the vehicle after mistaking it for another one.

During questioning, Black acknowledged he drove the vehicle used in the shooting while a man in the passenger seat opened fire, according to an affidavit.

Black also said the gun used in the shooting was at his home, the affidavit said. He gave officers permission to search his home, where they found a 9 mm pistol consistent with shell casings recovered from the scene.

The fate of "L.W." is not clear.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said he believes two suspects were involved in the shooting.

Why didn't sketch match shooter?

The sheriff declined to name the second person, citing the investigation. Prosecutors identified Larry Woodruffe as the second suspect in a court hearing Saturday, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Jail records indicate Woodruffe is in custody on drug possession charges. He has not been charged in connection with the shooting.

Widespread support for the family keeps growing

Over the weekend, hundreds of mourners gathered outside the Walmart near where Jazmine was killed.

Washington thanked everyone who came to honor her daughter, whose birthday is next month, she said.

"I'm telling you, every time I see one of y'all reach out for me, I can hold my head up," she said. "I can get up in the morning."

More than 2,800 people have donated to a GoFundMe set up for Jazmine's funeral expenses and family.

Mom: Daughter killed 'for no reason'

Jazmine will also be honored Tuesday in a "Justice for Jazmine Barnes Community Rally" honoring homicide victims in Harris County, according to organizers.

Services for Jazmine are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday with a viewing at Green House International Church. Her funeral is at noon. Mourners plan to release purple balloons -- Jazmine's favorite color.

"We often don't emphasize the death of black and brown children," family attorney S. Lee Merritt said. "We all have a role (in) getting justice for any child of gun violence."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 37542

Reported Deaths: 1272
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds304154
DeSoto200920
Madison150839
Jones123149
Harrison118316
Rankin113719
Neshoba104577
Forrest104343
Lauderdale97281
Scott83115
Jackson80419
Washington75313
Copiah67516
Leake63520
Lee63022
Grenada6259
Oktibbeha62328
Warren60021
Holmes59841
Lamar5847
Wayne56819
Yazoo5667
Lowndes54917
Leflore53956
Lincoln53835
Pike51120
Lafayette5094
Sunflower5058
Panola4616
Monroe46036
Simpson4533
Covington4505
Bolivar41618
Tate39513
Attala38624
Newton37710
Adams36720
Pontotoc3636
Marion34912
Claiborne31511
Pearl River30832
Chickasaw30219
Winston30211
Marshall2973
Jasper2826
Noxubee2799
Walthall2748
Clay26211
Smith25612
Union25612
Coahoma2356
Clarke22825
Lawrence2162
Yalobusha2089
Tallahatchie1974
Montgomery1863
Kemper18414
Carroll18311
Humphreys17410
Calhoun1705
Hancock15213
Itawamba1478
Tippah14711
Jefferson1373
Webster13511
Prentiss1274
Tunica1263
George1253
Jefferson Davis1254
Greene11610
Alcorn1112
Amite1113
Tishomingo1091
Quitman1011
Wilkinson1019
Perry914
Stone772
Choctaw764
Franklin572
Sharkey480
Benton470
Issaquena111
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 56441

Reported Deaths: 1136
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson7012170
Mobile5061140
Montgomery4599112
Tuscaloosa274353
Madison25359
Marshall205012
Shelby176425
Lee164737
Morgan13975
Baldwin134111
Walker111332
Elmore107622
Etowah106914
Dallas10189
DeKalb10017
Franklin95016
Unassigned77728
Autauga71515
Russell7130
Chambers68530
Cullman6686
Limestone6653
Butler65529
Houston6417
Tallapoosa63069
Lauderdale6006
St. Clair5983
Calhoun5545
Colbert5286
Escambia5128
Lowndes49222
Pike4805
Jackson4422
Coffee4364
Covington43512
Talladega4177
Dale4061
Barbour4022
Bullock37810
Hale36323
Marengo36111
Chilton3452
Blount3311
Clarke3236
Wilcox3158
Marion30914
Winston3095
Sumter29713
Pickens2786
Randolph2759
Monroe2683
Perry2552
Conecuh2388
Bibb2271
Macon2229
Choctaw22012
Greene2009
Henry1573
Washington1529
Lawrence1460
Crenshaw1343
Cherokee1317
Geneva1010
Fayette901
Clay892
Lamar891
Coosa671
Cleburne481
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